Under the auspices of the General Services Administration Design Excellence Program and located at the intersection of Cherry and Michigan streets on the city’s Civic Center Mall the new courthouse, a 223,600 sf facility, provides six courtrooms and space to accommodate future District Court expansion. Our design concept organizes the six courts in three pairs of courtrooms - each in its own cylindrical volume. The court masses are arranged in a right angle configuration. Cohesion of the composition occurs with a continuous horizontal roof plane. The three volumes emerge from the roof as domes. The roof extends towards the west to engage the buildings drop-off. This long cantilever produces a strong horizontal image fronting the mall, terminating the north end and creates a dramatic counterpoint to the existing county courthouse at the opposing end of the mall. The continuous curved surface of the courthouse volume creates a soft link to the landscape of the mall while the rectilinear organization of the chambers creates a strong connection to the urban grid. The scale and articulation of the chamber mass also creates a strong visual connection between the courthouse and the adjacent three story apartment buildings across Cherry Street.